Epidural sufentanil for postoperative patient-controlled analgesia (pca) with or without background infusion - a double-blind comparison
Anesthesia and analgesia / International Anesthesia Research Society. - Cleveland, Ohio, 1957, currens
, p. 76-80
To evaluate the usefulness of a concurrent infusion in patient-controlled epidural analgesia (PCEA), 40 patients scheduled for elective cesarean section under a combined spinal-epidural technique were assigned randomly in a double-blind fashion to receive sufentanil by PCEA with a concomitant infusion of either sufentanil or saline. The sufentanil 24-h consumption was significantly (P < 0.001) higher in those patients receiving the opioid-containing infusion (212.7 +/- 9.5 vs 128.4 +/- 10.8 mu g, SEM). The number of additional demands and the quality of sleep did not differ between the two groups. The degree of sedation was significantly less pronounced in patients treated with incremental sufentanil doses only. The visual analog scale (VAS) pain scores at rest were identical in both groups except at 6 h (2.5 +/- 0.4 vs 3.7 +/- 0.3, in favor of the patients treated with the sufentanil background infusion). We conclude that, except for a lower pain score during the initial hours, a background infusion in PCEA with sufentanil does not offer major advantages in terms of sleep quality or sufentanil consumption. Side effects may be more pronounced owing to increased drug administration.